Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cairns/Port Douglas

Before leaving the Whitsunday Islands we went for a sail in an Americas cup yacht. It competed in 1989/90 and at that time was called Onedine 7, now Boomerang. There are 75 islands and only 6 are inhabited. This is so the government can maintain their natural states.
We were up very early next day for our train to Cairns. It was to be a 10 hour journey but was already around an hour late getting into Prosperine. Track trouble. Was fairly picturesque. Didn't realise there was so much sugar cane here. Scenery mostly consisted of this and banana trees. Was comfortable ride, big seats with tv screen and a galley where you could sit to eat or drink and chat. Got in around 6.45pm and transferred to hotel. Seems a lovely place in the dark. Woke early next day and had a walk around the harbour. It is stunning. Bar b q for public use along the front, as is a beautiful pool free. Early morning jiggers around the boardwalk. If I had this at my disposal, even I may take up jogging or cycling - ha.
We left for Port Douglas around 9am. Our guide/driver/local aborigine was Kavel. He knew everything. Gave us such a good running commentary that I couldn't take it all in. We arrived at an aboriginal home to go spear fishing. Now we had been told of the jelly fish/stingers and how there is to be no swimming in the sea at this time of year. There are 4 types, one is very dangerous and lethal for children. Also there are crocodiles around, including fat Albert who comes out occasionally! We took off our shoes and reluctantly stepped into the Mangrove swamps. He said not to worry about the jelly fish and the crocs didn't go in there until night time - eek. Did as they said and I followed the guide with everyone else behind. The mangroves are tightly packed together and the water went almost up to my waist. Being such a shorty Luke said he would put my camera in his pocket as he is taller and so it wouldn't get wet. The roots and spikes hurt underfoot and at one point a couple of us fell over and got hurt. Unusually for me, I stayed upright although bumped my forehead on a branch but was saved by my hat (although I have a bit of a shiner under my fringe). After a while a few of the group turned back, but I marched on with my spear. We got to a shallower area and were told to hunt under the roots as the fish and crabs hid there before the tide went out. Link the aboriginal son of the family joined us. I saw a crab first and turned quite native. Speared it several times and picked it up. First to do so. Was I pleased. On the way back the tide had gone out so it was easier to negotiate the swamp but great experience. He showed us trees and told us their properties and what they use them for. The Hibiscus has edible flowers and the leaves have salt in which if applied to the skin draws out fluid. That's one for my fat ankles. We returned to his parents home. Mum cooked our catch which wouldn't feed much supplemented by a few buns. She cooked the periwinkles in chilli and garlic. Yum. Link showed us a didgeridoo. They are made from a piece of wood cleaned up and put over a termite mound for 2-3 months. The termites hollow up to around half way and they then turn it for a similar time and they have a hollow tube which they paint. He held it to my ear and you can hear vibration. If you can't it means it could be cracked. He showed us the different ways of playing and it was so interesting. We then had fresh oranges from the tree outside. He showed us the edible green ants on the tree. Yes he did catch one, remove the legs which left a small green dot on his thumb which I ate - yes really. Didn't feel it on the tongue but it had a lovely lemon taste followed by a eucalyptus feel. They use them when they have a cold. Really interesting fab adventure. Glad I didn't see the crocs though. Love to all xx

1 comment:

  1. You are a very brave adventurer! Sounds fab,so glad it is more than u hoped for,what stories you will have to tell the boys! Xx